Opposition councillors on Walsall Council will attempt to unseat the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democratic coalition next week following, what they call, ‘a year of incompetence, inaction and increasing indifference.’
At the Council’s annual general meeting on Wednesday 22nd May Labour members will move a motion of no confidence in the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition which currently runs Walsall Council after controversially scraping in by just one vote at last year’s meeting.
The vote will hinge on the borough’s three Independent councillors who hold the balance of power on the 60 seat hung council between Labour’s 28 members and the Tory/Lib Dem’s 29.
Labour group leader, Tim Oliver, said: “The last year has been a disaster for the people of Walsall as the Conservative-led coalition Government’s polices have been implemented by their local councillors.”
He listed the areas of governence that Labour condemn as council failures:
- In July, only weeks after last year’s crucial vote, Ofsted condemned the council’s child protection services as inadequate – its lowest possible rating.
- In September, nearly 30 per cent of shops Walsall town centre had gone out of business as the Tories and Lib Dems announced their deepest round of cuts in services so far, resulting in 166 lost jobs.
- In December, the private sector/council funded Phoenix 10 regeneration project collapsed resulting in a 25% downscaling promised jobs to 3,000 and forcing the council to borrow untold millions of pounds to save the project.
- In January this year, the Tory/Lib Dem’s promise of 275 apprenticeships for young people was shown to have failed after only 58 youngsters were found training places; while in the same month, cabinet members voted themselves a massive pay rise.
- In February, over 4000 families in Walsall were prevented from getting additional help from the council after Tory and Lib Dem councillors blocked a Labour move to increase financial help to those who face eviction because of the Government’s bedroom tax.
- In March council leader, Mike Bird, made it clear that the Gala baths were under threat, whilst users of the brine and swimming pools were forced to smuggle in a petition having been banned from collecting signatures by the council.
Cllr Oliver added: “Really, it comes down to a vote for or against the people of the borough. Just over the last year we have seen promises broken, front line services cut, jobs lost and the low paid, disabled and jobless being made to bear the cost. The vote of confidence will give the Independents representing Darlaston South and Blakenall the chance to put right their mistake, when they sat on their hands and effectively allowed the Tories and Lib Dems to take control.”
“We will outline the council’s failures, the refusal of theTories and Lib Dems to accept responsibility and their indifference to the impact and consequences of their actions. It will be then up to the Independents to choose if they will continue to support them or vote for change and throw them out.”